Easy 5 Layer Ice Cream Cake

Simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake sitting on top of an Oreo crust! Cool off and celebrate with this recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This weekend means tank tops, barefeet, sunscreen, air conditioning, and all things the dog days of summer embody. This weekend also means a balmy 65% humidity, hair frizz reaching astronomical heights, did I mention AC? and back-to-school commercials haunting our TV screens. Turning on our ovens sounds like evil torture and ice-cold coffee is our bestie.

The spirit of summer is strong as ever right now and a 5 layer ice cream cake saves the day. It keeps us all smiling, satisfied, and COOL.

I do not have a solution for the frightening frizzy hair. But please send me your tips.

Simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake sitting on top of an Oreo crust! Cool off and celebrate with this recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I guess right now would be the time to admit that I rarely make ice cream cake. In the past, we’ve always picked it up from the store. And I’m somewhat attached to my oven. One may even call it a baking addiction, but whatever.

Truth is, I’m always so nervous to make ice cream cakes because I have an irrational fear the layers will either separate or just melt together and the whole thing will look like a sprinkled chocolate blob. I care what my desserts look like too much (hi, have we met?) to waste my efforts on a blob risk!!

But I quieted my fears this past week because I’m testing dessert recipe #2 for Kevin’s upcoming birthday bash. Here’s dessert recipe #1! We’re having kids and adults over and I figured an ice cream cake would be the perfect large batch dessert to serve everyone. Not to mention, Kevin LOVES ice cream.

Chocolate ice cream for 5 layer ice cream cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

So let me break down these layers for you.

There are 5 layers in this ice cream beauty:

  1. Oreo cookie crust
  2. Chocolate ice cream
  3. Peanut butter cup ice cream
  4. Hot fudge
  5. Whipped cream + sprinkles on top

You can use any flavors of ice cream you want. Chocolate and peanut butter is a must in this household, but I feel like chocolate and cookies ‘n’ cream would be outrageously good. Or even vanilla and strawberry for a neapolitan vibe.

Oreo cookie crust for 5 layer ice cream cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Chocolate ice cream for 5 layer ice cream cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here's how to make a simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

And, because we all love lists, let me tell you what I learned from my recipe testing.

Ice Cream Cake Tips

  1. Soften the ice cream and stir it around in a bowl to smooth it out before layering in. Stirring the ice cream to create a smooth uniform texture makes layering so much easier!
  2. Freeze the cake for 15 minutes in between adding each layer. This prevents the blob.
  3. Make sure you have at least an hour to prepare the cake. See #2.
  4. I used a little less butter in the Oreo crust and the recipe below reflects that. More butter made the frozen crust way too firm and cutting was quite difficult.
  5. Let the cake sit in the freezer for a lifetime. Or at least overnight.
  6. Run a sharp knife under hot water when slicing; this helps create a clean cut.

The final two layers, the hot fudge and the whipped cream, are both homemade. I encourage from-scratch! (And if you make the ice cream layers from scratch, you are SUPER human. I actually have a peanut butter cup ice cream recipe in Sally’s Candy Addiction if you’re tempted…)

Anyway, I understand if you just want to pick up a jar of hot fudge, but the hot fudge sauce I made is easily the best I’ve ever tasted. Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe yields a little more than we need for this cake, but I’m certainly not upset with leftover hot fudge. Homemade whipped cream is quite simple. There’s 1 step: whip it. If you have a mixer, you can make homemade whipped cream. It’s so soft!

Here's how to make a simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You’ll let the hot fudge sauce cool down after making it, but it will never be as cold as the ice cream layer underneath it. Because of the difference in temperature, the two will sort of mesh together (but not in an ugly blob way) as you spread and that’s OK! Make sure you place it all in the freezer for 15 minutes before spreading the whipped cream on top.

As the cake freezes, the inside layers stay separate, but move around quite a bit. I loved the ribbons of hot fudge throughout and, of course, the sprinkles on top. ♥

Simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake sitting on top of an Oreo crust! Cool off and celebrate with this recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

It’s really not as much work as it seems, though you will take a few trips back and forth from the freezer. DQ and Carvel, you’ve met your homemade match. Can’t wait to make this again next weekend!!


Easy 5 Layer Ice Cream Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 12+ hours or overnight
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American


Simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake sitting on top of an Oreo crust. Cool off and celebrate with this easy recipe!


  • 36 Oreos (1 standard package)
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened
  • 1 quart your choice flavor ice cream, softened (I used peanut butter cup)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (420g) hot fudge (store-bought or yummy homemade)

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • sprinkles


  1. Make the crust: In a food processor or blender, pulse the whole Oreos into a fine crumb. Stir the cookie crumbs and melted butter together, then press into a 9×13 pan. (No need to grease the pan prior.) Make sure it is very tightly packed– I use the back of a spatula to firmly press it in. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  2. During that time, place the softened chocolate ice cream in a bowl and give it a good stir to rid any frozen lumps. You want a nice smooth, soft ice cream. Spread it on top of the frozen crust. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  3. During that time, place the 2nd ice cream flavor into a bowl and stir it until it is smooth and very soft. Carefully spread on top of the chocolate ice cream. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  4. Make sure the hot fudge is spreadable consistency. You may have to slightly heat it if using store-bought. Spread it on top of the ice cream as best you can. Because it is not as cold as the ice cream layer, the two will slightly mesh together as you spread. That’s ok. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  5. Make the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. Spread on top of hot fudge layer, then top with sprinkles. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze for at least 12 hours before serving (and up to a few days!).
  6. Use a very sharp knife to cut, making sure you are cutting into the crust. Keep leftovers in the freezer.


  1. Ice Cream: 1 quart of ice cream is 2/3 of a standard 1.5 quart container. So you’ll use a little more than half of the container for each ice cream layer.

Keywords: ice cream cake, easy ice cream cake

 More frozen treats right this way and no-bake everything is over here.

Simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake sitting on top of an Oreo crust! Cool off and celebrate with this recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com


  1. Hi Sally! Planning on making this this weekend, but am wondering if I could use crushed choc chip cookies instead of Oreos? Or do you suggest baking a layer of choc chip cookies at the bottom of the pan instead? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Madeline! Either way should work just fine. Might be easier to crush already baked (or store-bought) chocolate chip cookies though!

      1. Sally I sound like such a happy person and your so kind to others in these comments that really makes me feel happy. This cake sounds yummy too, I’m going to make it because I know if someone as nice as u made it, it will be delicious

  2. Do you know if can make this gluten free by using a package of gluten free cookies? I am bring a dessert to a dinner with a gluten free family member but don’t have any experience with gluten free recipes.

    1. I can’t see why not! I would make sure each ingredients is certified gluten free though. Here are naturally GF recipes if you are searching for other options: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/category/gluten-free/

    2. Cheerios have many flavors that are gluten free, crush them like cookies and proceed! The chocolate cheerios would be good in this and the honey nut make a great cheesecake crust!

  3. Thanks for the recipe. I am planning to make it for my son’s birthday using Spring Form Pan. Will 9″diameter pan work for this?

    1. The quantities listed here are going to be a little too much for a 9 inch springform pan. But this recipe is very forgiving so you can use your best judgement how thick to make each layer!

  4. I made this using your recipe in a 10″diameter pan. I used vanilla ice cream in place of Peanut butter and added a layer of caramel sauce. It was a huge hit! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Mmm that sounds delicous Sally should make that and post a picture I’m going to try to make both bc they sound delicous

  5. I love ice cream cake, and this recipe looks like the perfect one! It’s exactly what I’m looking for, as my brother does not like ice cream and cake together, so I was searching for something that had a cookie layer instead. This ice cream cake looks so yummy! I can’t wait to make it. And I love that I can play around with the ice cream flavors; neapolitan, mint chocolate chip, caramel, rocky road…yum!

  6. Just made this today with gluten free Oreo cookies. The gluten free Oreo packet only came with 21 Oreo cookies. So I added some gluten free shortbread cookies to roughly make the 36 cookie count. Used only vanilla ice cream as my little girl with Celiac is only a vanilla ice cream fan. Put the home made fudge sauce layer (from the link) between two layers of vanilla ice cream to make it look more like a Canadian Dairy Queen ice cream cake. Two layers of vanilla ice cream separated by fudge sauce. Then the whipped cream with sprinkles on top. Heavenly. Next time I will make one and a half or even two times the whip cream layer. Excellent dessert.

  7. I made this for our Father’s Day celebration and everyone raved about it! I used chocolate chip ice cream in place of peanut butter cup ice cream as we have a peanut allergy in the family. The homemade fudge sauce is the only way to go! Absolutely amazing! My family said they never want to see a DQ cake again! Thank you for this delicious recipe, Sally!

  8. I made this for my son’s 17th birthday this weekend. It was a hit and looked fantastic. I used a springform pan and wanted to change the flavors to our family favorite – pistachio! I found pistachio oreo thins and used those ; but needed a package and a half to get a pressable texture with so much butter. Then I filled with pistachio ice cream, then vanilla, the fudge, and the whip cream before topping off with a sprinkle of roasted, ground pistachios (leftover from making Sally’s AMAZING pistachio cake a few weeks beforehand). I also used a springform pan and added a teaspoon of unflavored gelatin to my whip cream to ease spreadability and firm it up. I will certainly make this again – but I hope to bust out the ice cream maker when I do!

    1. A thin brownie “crust” should work, but whatever you use, slightly under-bake it so it’s not too hard once frozen.

  9. This recipe was a big hit with my family! I made it for our Memorial Day spread and not even two weeks later, I was making it again! I tried a new (to me) hot fudge sauce that was on sale and we all thought it made that layer so yummy! Went back to get it again and had to splurge on it as it was no longer on sale! But, worth every penny! From the Oreo crust to the homemade whipped topping, this dessert is scrumptious! It has now gone in the file of family favorites! Thanks Sally!

  10. Can I omit the hot fudge? I’m wondering if it provides some layering between the 2 different ice cream flavors? My son does not like hot fudge. Crazy, right? LOL Thanks in advance.

      1. Thank you! I made the oreo cookie crust using mint oreos, home made vanilla and mint chocolate chip ice cream, along with the home made whipped cream. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  11. I’m sorry to say the layering didn’t work out for me. 🙁 Maybe my idea of slightly softened is different or my freezer is just not that cold but I waited a lot longer than 15 minutes, more like 45 and when I put my vanilla layer on top of the chocolate it just sank right through. I’m sure it will still be very tasty, but not layered. I think I will try the recipe again when I have a lot of free time and don’t need to rush through the steps.

  12. I do not know how I have not seen this recipe before! It looks so good. I have a small family so 12 servings might be too much. Will it work if I half this recipe?

  13. This was simply delicious! I used Edy’s Double Fudge Brownie for the second quart of ice cream. I took the easy route all the way through the recipe (!) and used Smucker’s hot fudge sauce–only about 2 oz. total. For the whipped cream, I used Cool Whip with Oreo Mix-Ins (OMG–this is an event in itself and has “binge emotional eating” all over it!). The end product was a raving success! Thanks so much for this wonderful treat!

  14. What do you think of adding whipped cream close to serving time so it doesnt harden up but stays fluffy?

    Can i make one layer per day so it hardens completely before i add the next layer? Thanks!

    1. Hi Sarah, You can absolutely serve this with fresh whipped cream if you wish. You can also freeze one layer per day – the only difference will be that they don’t swirl together as much as my photos. Enjoy!

  15. My brother lives ice cream. I made this cake for his birthday last week. Never mind that it was 25 degrees and snowing!. It was a hit! I used chocolate and strawberry ice cream. He said it was everything he loved in one dessert. I made the hot fudge sauce and the whipped cream. Yummy! Thanks Sally!

  16. I typically really like Sally’s recipes, but this one was not so great. Obviously it tasted good because who doesn’t like ice cream? But the Oreo crust stuck to the bottom of my pan and no one got to eat it, and it was the one part that had actually been made by me. It was definitely a waste of Oreos. Check out other recipes from Sally, they’re usually awesome!

  17. This was my first time making an ice cream cake. It was easy and turned out great. Everyone loved it! I used less oreos (27) and it was enough for the 9X13. I used Dutch Chocolate ice cream, Cookies & Cream ice cream, and for the hot fudge layer I used a store bought ‘Epic coffee chocolate sauce’. I didn’t realize it said coffee when I bought it but it was fantastic and tasted perfect in the cake.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I will definitely make it again.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally